The Tues before HdR'13, some of us got together at Corso to share some wines and comraderie. Organized by KenZinns, the motley crew included: EricLundblad/LaddCllrs, BryanHarrington/HarringtonWineCellars; BrianGoehry/Wines on Piedmont. PaulHolmchick. Amongst others, we tried:
1. VJB Vnyds Montepulciano SonomaVlly (EB; 14.1%) Kenwood 2009: Med.dark color; fairly strong plummy/berry/grapey rather rustic/earthy/SouthernItalian light oak nose; fairly soft/lush rather rough/rustic/SouthernItaly some plummy/berry/grapey bit earthy light oak flavor w/ modest tannins; lots of rustic/SouthernItalian character but quite clean and none of the usual unclean/goat pen character those wines often show.
2. EdmundsStJohn Syrah BassettiVnyd/SLOCnty (13.7%) BlindLuck & Intuition 2001: Very dark color w/ no obvious bricking; quite intense blackberry/Syrah rather peppery/cracked black pepper/cold climate Syrah very slight brett/horsecollar rather perfumed nose; bit tannic/hard very strong blackberry/Syrah/spicy rather cold-climate/cracked black pepper bit Rhonish/pungent character; in great condition and still has another 3-6 yrs to go I'd guess; best older Bassetti I've had in the last few yrs.
3. Santino Zin AmadorCnty DryBerrySelect WhiteHarvest TotallyBotrytisAffected (7.1%; Hrvsted: 10/15/85 at 50.0 Brix; TA: 1.8 gm/100 ml; pH: 3.4; RS: 31.5%) ScottHarvey 1985: Dark brown/black/PX color; very intense botrytis/apricotty/peachy rather raisen/pruney/PX-like somewhat Bual-madeira-like rather complex nose; very sweet very tart strong botrytis/apricotty some raisened/pruney rather PX/Bual-like very intense fairly complex flavor; strong botrytis character but more like a PX/Bual than anything; in wonderful condition and will still go another 10-20 yrs.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. VJB: This was a new wnry for me. Owned by the Belmonte's up in Kenwood. I was pretty impressed w/ this wine for its distinct SouthernItalian character....until I saw the price ($50). They are a wnry that specializes in Italian varieties, including a Nero d'Avola. All the wines seem to be on the pricey side.
2. You can count on TomHill to bring a WhiteZin to a gathering of wine geeks like this. I was the laughing-stock of the entire group that evening.
In it's youth, this wine had huge intensity of botrytis character and was a somewhat pink/golden color. It's gotten quite a bit darker as its aged and is now showing more raisened/PX-like character and less of the botrytis character. It has a screaming acidity to it that gives it somewhat of a sweet/sour/soy-sauce feel on the palate.